On the Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisterium
Publication Date: April 24, 2023
This book, which is now in its second edition, expels the confusion surrounding the distinction between the ordinary and the extraordinary magisterium of the Church by exposing the ambiguity inherent in the term 'ordinary magisterium'. A detailed analysis of the origins of this terminology in the writings of Joseph Kleutgen, a nineteenth century neo-scholastic theologian, provides the historical and theological context for understanding its intended sense in the documents of Pope Pius IX and the First Vatican Council. The main lines of historical development are then traced from the end of the First Vatican Council up through the teaching of the Second Vatican Council with special attention given to the question of an ordinary magisterium of the pope and to the extension of the extraordinary magisterium to the secondary object of the magisterium and to the confirmation or re-affirmation of doctrines already infallibly taught by the Church. This latter question has serious implications for the interpretation of doctrinal declarations such as those found in Evangelium vitae, Ordinatio sacerdotalis, and several of the documents of Vatican II. The study concludes by considering the approach to these questions taken by the Second Vatican Council in the constitution on the Church Lumen gentium.
"In this authoritative study, Dr. Joy offers a precise and helpful explication of the terms 'ordinary' and 'extraordinary' magisterium. He accomplishes this by a thorough examination of all the principal Church documents utilizing these terms and related concepts, finding their proximate source in the insights of the great nineteenth-century Jesuit theologian, Joseph Kleutgen. The lasting value of this study will be evident to the careful reader. John Joy has produced a sure and solid guide for faithful Catholics who cling to the bark of Peter during the current storms of doctrinal and pastoral confusion." —Dr. Michael Sirilla, Professor of Systematic and Dogmatic Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
"This is the most thorough and excellent concise treatment of the magisterium I have seen. It is both historical and thematic, treating all levels of magisterial authority. The book is well-organized, the writing is accessible, and the analysis is excellent. John Joy's work is a gift for the Church." —Dr. Phillip Blosser, Professor, Sacred Heart Major Seminary
"In modern theological discussions among Catholics, the term 'magisterium' is frequently used, but often in ways that increase rather than dispel confusion. John Joy's clear and meticulous study is an excellent remedy to this lamentable situation. In a way that is both speculatively and historically sure-footed, he explains the various kinds of teaching that occur within the Church, and their different levels of authority. This book will be very valuable to theologians in their efforts to understand and expound the deposit of faith." —Fr. Thomas Crean, O.P.